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Australia 2010 - Free Practice 3 highlights - HRT struggle as the final hour of practice is completed

Published by Christine

Free Practice 3 was dry, at least, but it was clear from the outset that traffic was going to be a problem. All the drivers set times, although neither HRT car made it to the end of the session. Full results are available here, but you can catch up on the session step by step now.

As it happened: 2010 Australia - Free Practice 3

  • 02:30

    Hello to everyone! It is bright and early here in the UK, the Factbyte Factbox reserves the right to be grumpy.

  • 02:32

    The weather seems to be top of everyone's mind ahead of FP3. Via @sarahholtf1: The weather report on display in media HQ gloomily says there are "possible showers"....

  • 02:32

    However, @MikeGascoyne: Just finished briefing for todays practice session. All okay and hoping for a straightforward session. Weather looks good for today

  • 02:35

    For those following in the UK, the BBC are streaming FP3: with live updates underneath.

  • 02:37

    Live timing is available from (Registration required)

  • 02:40

    From @twlotusracing: Saturday in Melbourne and atmosphere is great. Heikki's hanging out with one of his old race engineers and Jarno's in shorts and sunnies

  • 02:46

    Autosport Live also have live updates available:

  • 02:47

    A view from Amy's seat at Turns 1 and 2.

  • 02:47

    Don't forget the McLaren dashboard as well:

  • 02:55

    Autosport on yesterday's running: A passionate crowd was once again on hand in Melbourne, braving the afternoon showers to cheer on their Formula 1 heros. Organisers estimated 68,000 fans watched the Friday sessions at Albert Park.

  • 02:56

    Track Temp - 29. Air Temp - 21. Wind speed - 3.9 mps. Humidity - 59%.

  • 02:56

    From @VirginRacing: Engine fired on timo's car, he's just back from being weighed.

  • 02:57

    5Live confirm it is not going to rain, but the track will be 10 degrees cooler in qualifying, which may affect tyres.

  • 02:59

    A photo from Virgin Racing:

  • 03:00

    Liuzzi lining up at the end of the pitlane - first out on track.

  • 03:03

    A busy start to the session with installation laps for all. Six drivers yet to do so.

  • 03:03

    From @MikeGascoyne: Radio checks with driver on the install lap, all ok and back in

  • 03:04

    Ferrari also tweeting that everything is okay with both cars.

  • 03:06

    All drivers back in the pits - Schumi, Rosberg, Webber and Senna still to go out.

  • 03:09

    Senna has concluded his installation lap. Still all quiet out on track.

  • 03:10

    Petrov is the first to hit the track for a second time.

  • 03:13

    Vitaly sets the first time of the day, as more drivers filter out of their garages. Time: 1:32.342

  • 03:16

    Petrov improves to 1:28, but is just beaten by Massa.

  • 03:17

    All drivers have been out on track now, bar Webber. All the drivers are out on track now, bar Webber, Button, Hamilton and Barrichello.

  • 03:17

    From @VirginRacing: The steering lock on an f1 car is really tight. Lucas on full lock and only just misses the pit wall as he gingerly drives out

  • 03:19

    All drivers out on track now. Times dropped into 1:27s. Massa still ahead.

  • 03:19

    From Autosport Live: Schumacher and Rosberg continue round for a second lap. Rosberg is moving at racing speed, while the seven-time champion is bedding his car in slowly.

  • 03:21

    Rosberg up to P1, beaten by Vettel, whilst Petrov struggles under braking - not for the first time.

  • 03:21

    From @clubforce: Tonio is reporting traffic on this lap, plus he's lost a mirror as well.

  • 03:22

    All drivers have set a time now, except for Button.

  • 03:23

    Button looking for clean air to complete a lap - went through the pitlane without stopping, has just one lap left on this run.

  • 03:24

    Hamilton posts the fastest time of the morning - 1:25.706.

  • 03:25

    That is actually the fastest time of the weekend so far.

  • 03:26

    Button finally managed to complete a lap, into fourth place, will return to the pitlane.

  • 03:27

    Hamilton: "Quite happy with how the car's handling."

  • 03:27

    Bruno Senna has had to get out the way of two other drivers, and has now pulled to the side of the track - the HRT is stuck in gear.

  • 03:29

    Button didn't come into the pits, he is still running, now up to third.

  • 03:30

    Ted on 5live: "rear supension change for Alonso, along with the front ride height."

  • 03:31

    Chandhok has climbed out of the car after completing 10 laps. He's looking at the rear of the car.

  • 03:31

    Petrov has the track to himself now, all other drivers back in the pits.

  • 03:32

    Kubica: "Lacking overall grip, sliding everywhere, felt better yesterday - more understeer but better grip then."

  • 03:32

    Button: "The car feels reasonable."

  • 03:37

    With twenty minutes to go, top ten:


  • 03:38

    Fastest sectors:

    • S1 - HAM 285 kph
    • S2 - BUT 296 kph
    • S3 - HAM 294 kph
    • Trap - HAM 308 kph
  • 03:39

    Alonso has posted the fastest time so far - 1:25.559, two tenths up on Lewis.

  • 03:41

    Alonso was improving but found some traffic and pitted from P1.

  • 03:41

    Holly on 5live reports Petrov is having snap oversteer problems in the middle of the corner. Currently back in the pits.

  • 03:41

    Schumacher jumps to P1 - 1:25.494.

  • 03:43

    Alguersuari: "Suffering understeer in the mid corner, more front wing."

  • 03:44

    P1 changes hands again, Webber puts in a 1:25.309.

  • 03:44

    Ted reporting on 5live that as the pit lane speed limit won't be changing during the race, teams are sending their drivers through to calculate how long a stop during the GP will take.

  • 03:45

    Barrichello runs a little wide, touches the grass, and heads back to the pits.

  • 03:45

    McLaren are putting option tyres on the next run. Presumably they will be simulating qualifying.

  • 03:47

    From BBC live thread: Red Bull boss Christian Horner has been telling me about how Mark Webber is thriving on his home race atmosphere. Despite the hours of extra PR, the Aussie has managed it all very well and is enjoying the build up. Webber's family are also here to support him as he bids to better his best ever position of fourth.

  • 03:47

    From @MikeGascoyne: Jarno not happy with setup so went back to starting setup from yesterday and looks better on second run

  • 03:48

    From @InsideFerrari: now everyone will go for the final run soft tyres

  • 03:51

    Outside of the top ten - Kobayashi has popped up to 11th, with a 1:26.366, Buemi up in 15th, whilst Barrichello and Hulkenberg are just two thousandths apart 16th and 17th.

  • 03:51

    From @alexjsnell: Wow! FP3 is turning out to be more exciting than the race itself in bahrain! It's battle royale between the top 4 teams!

  • 03:51

    Button has clear air in front of him, Hamilton only has Button in front of him.

  • 03:52

    Heikki Kovalainen:

  • 03:54

    Everyone out on track, bar Trulli, Glock, Chandhok, and of course, Senna.

  • 03:54

    McLaren drivers instructed to press their big blue buttons.

  • 03:55

    Webber breaks into the 1:24s.

  • 03:55

    Buemi closes up on a slow moving de la Rosa, they oh so nearly touched.

  • 03:57

    Yellow flags.

  • 03:58

    Chandhok has pulled to a stop at Turn 7, is out of the car.

  • 03:58

    Lewis Hamilton called his session to an early end with about three minutes to go.

  • 03:59

    Drivers returning to the pitlane.

  • 04:01

    Session has ended. Fastest three - Webber, Alonso, Schumacher.

    Full results to follow.

  • 04:07
  • 04:07

    Thanks to everyone for joining us today. We'll be back for qualifying later today.

All content in the series Australia 2010